Three & Out: SEC Championship Game Wrap
LSU DB/PR Tyrann Mathieu
LSU DB/PR Tyrann Mathieu
Posted Dec 3, 2011

CFN SEC columnist Barrett Sallee shares three thoughts, news and notes on the 20th SEC Championship Game

Reach me via e-mail at or on Twitter @BarrettSallee

Three & Out appears every Sunday to recap the week that was in the SEC. In our SEC Championship Game edition, we take a look back at LSU's 42-10 win over Georgia.

Three & Out has fully supported the Mathieu for Heisman campaign all season, and the Honey Badger made us look good again tonight. His punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter was the turning point of the game, and his 47-yard return in the third quarter that didn't result in a touchdown was his best return of the season.

If the true goal of the Heisman Trophy is to recognize the most outstanding player in college football, there's no doubt in my mind that the award should go to Mathieu. He makes plays - and scores points - on defense and special teams. When things weren't going well, he took control of the game. For a guy to have that big of an impact with so few touches is really amazing.

Mathieu said after the game that he doesn't want to judge whether or not he deserves a spot at the Heisman ceremony; but we can. The Honey Badger deserves to be in New York. You say that "Honey Badger don't care?" Well, voters should. Get him to New York.

Kenny Hilliard came to Baton Rouge with a ton of hype, but up until the last month of the season, he hadn't seen that much action. That will change in the near future.

Hilliard, a freshman from Patterson, La., earned more playing time during November, and then burst onto the national scene with a scintillating three-touchdown performance in the Georgia Dome. His performance tied the SEC Championship Game record for touchdowns scored and points (18).

LSU seems to churn out running backs on an annual basis, and with Hilliard, Alfred Blue, Spencer Ware and Michael Ford, they've got a stable of them right now. Hilliard was the best of the bunch on Saturday, and something tells me he will be for the foreseeable future.

Sure, the score was 42-10 and it looked like a blowout; but Georgia had its chances.

Georgia's first drive of the game was deep into LSU territory, but a Tavarres King drop in the end zone forced the Bulldogs to settle for a field goal. A well-timed onside kick later, the Bulldogs had all the momentum in the world. But another sure touchdown was dropped by Malcolm Mitchell, and the Bulldogs then missed a field goal.

Had Georgia turned those two drives into touchdowns, Aron White's touchdown would have put the Bulldogs up 21-0 and the entire dynamic of the game would have been different.

Does that mean that Georgia would have won the game? Maybe, and maybe not. But it means that Jordan Jefferson would have had to throw the Tigers out of the hole, and Jefferson was awful in the first half.

You can't let a team like LSU hang around. The Tigers get on rolls, and when they do, it's almost impossible to stop them. That roll has led LSU to the BCS National Championship Game in New Orleans.

Barrett Sallee covers the SEC for He can be reached at, or on Twitter at @BarrettSallee

2011 Three & Out Archive
Three & Out – December 3, 2011
Three & Out – November 27, 2011
Three & Out – November 20, 2011
Three & Out – November 13, 2011
Three & Out – November 6, 2011
Three & Out – October 30, 2011
Three & Out – October 23, 2011
Three & Out – October 16, 2011
Three & Out – October 9, 2011
Three & Out – October 2, 2011
Three & Out – September 25, 2011
Three & Out – September 18, 2011
Three & Out – September 11, 2011
Three & Out – September 5, 2011
Three & Out – August 29, 2011
Three & Out – August 22, 2011
Three & Out – August 15, 2011
Three & Out – August 8, 2011

Click Here for the 2011 offseason column archive
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